Best Mini-Split Air Conditioner

Does it matter which mini-spit air conditioner you choose? They’re all pretty much the same, right? It’s true that the good mini-split air conditioners of the world are pretty similar, but each has their own flavor or downside.

Some may pump plenty of air but soak up power, while others may offer great air heating, but terrible air cooling. Here’s a review of the best mini-split air conditioner units on the mid-priced market. Like the best reviews, this article will give you the best and worst features of each air conditioning unit.

PIONEER Air Conditioner Inverter+ Wall Mount Ductless Mini Split Minisplit Heat Pump

PioneerMiniSplit.com is maintained and owned by Parker Davis HVAC Systems, Inc. Parker Davis already creates environmental control systems, so building a company selling air conditioning was relatively easy. Parker Davis owns most of the supply and manufacture chain, so Pioneer can keep prices fairly low.

Pros

If you get a fully working unit with no defects, and if you take care of it, then it will last many years while maintaining its general efficiency. This doesn’t seem like a big advantage, but many units in this price range are unreliable.

The heat and cooling output aren’t bad considering this unit’s price. You get 9000 BTU/H cooling capacity with 17.0 SEER efficiency. You get 9800 BTU/H heating capacity with 9.0 HSPF efficiency.

The noise it makes indoors isn’t distracting. Rather it’s a gentle noise that doesn’t interfere with TV watching or reading. The noise it makes outside is a little louder, but, in context, the pumps for a garden pond or swimming pool are much louder.

Cons

In terms of cost per unit, output, and power usage, this device is a little power hungry for its price range. It isn’t a power vampire, but it is slightly less efficient than the other mini-split air conditioners in its price range.

A Pioneer warranty is very difficult to enforce because the customer support is so terrible. Getting parts for this device is also difficult, and you’re often better off demanding a full replacement if there’s a defect.

If you have a problem with your device, such as with a defective part, then the customer support team won’t help you. The only recourse you will have is to contact whoever sold you the device and try to get a replacement or refund through them.

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PIONEER Air Conditioner Pioneer Mini Split Minisplit Heatpump 9000 BTU-110/120 V

 

Senville SENL-09CD Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump

The  Senville company is well-established without being over exposed. This is good for them because their customer support is terrible, and yet their online reputation doesn’t suffer too much because they don’t have a very strong online presence. Despite their terrible customer service record, they make good air conditioning units.

Pros

Installation isn’t easy, but unlike most devices, it doesn’t take a great many specialist tools. It’s actually possible for you to watch a YouTube video and learn how to do it yourself. It may save you some money in the long run.

Attach your electricity meter, and you’ll see that this device isn’t very power hungry. If it’s correctly installed, it runs fine. It doesn’t run loud, and the SEER 19 inverter is probably the reason it’s a little more efficient than other devices in its price range.

If you test this device yourself, then you will see that it’s able to handle very low temperatures. The manufacturers can’t print it, but their devices still work well even with temperatures as low as  -20°C (-4°F).

Cons

Getting parts for this device is very difficult, so you may have to buy somebody else’s device and harvest it for parts. For example, you may be able to go to eBay and find somebody selling their device for spares or repair.

This model doesn’t travel very well. If your air conditioner has a rough journey, then it will arrive with broken or defective parts. If it arrives in good condition, then this device will probably last you many years.

The Senville customer support is awful. If you have a problem right away, then contact the seller. If you have a problem later down the road, then the Senville will prove to be very unreliable and unhelpful.

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Senville SENL-09CD Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump, 9000 BTU 110/120V

 

PIONEER Air Conditioner Pioneer Mini Split Heat Pump Minisplit Inverter

Another entry from Pioneer. Through carefully overseeing the design phase, they’re able to design and sell units of a wide number of sizes and shapes. Subtle differences in output, fittings and settings means that Pioneer probably has a unit suitable for all your needs.

Pros

Compared to other devices in its price range, this device is pretty efficient. It uses an inverter ductless mini-split heat pump system to maintain its efficiency.

This device can cool the air down to refrigerator temperatures if required. It has a 9000 BTU/H cooling with 22.5 seer efficiency, it also has a 9800 BTU/H cooling capacity with 10.5 HSPF efficiency.

Like many systems, this air conditioner has an automatic crossover system. This means it will help you maintain a constant temperature in whatever room you place it. The device will switch to a heater when it gets too cold, and will switch to an air cooler when the room gets too warm.

Cons

You’ll need a professional to install this device. Even if you tried it yourself, the manuals and literature are littered with bad writing, poor grammar and incorrect spelling. They even spelled “Specs” as “Specks.”

The Cloud programmable and wireless Internet remote access is both useless and pointless. Pointless because the program needs be no more complex than a timer, and useless because getting the Cloud server to connect to your device is almost impossible.

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PIONEER Air Conditioner Pioneer Mini Split Heat Pump Minisplit Inverter, 9000 BTU-110/120 V

 

Senville 9000 BTU SENA-09HF/Z Energy Star Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump

Another unit by Senville makes the “Best Mini-Split Air Conditioner” list – and with good reason. The size of the company is part of the reason why it can distribute so well and easily. Even retailers can dropship if required because the Senville distribution network is so organized.

Pros

This air conditioner is pretty energy efficient. There are others on this list from Senville that are far more energy efficient, but in comparison to other devices in its price range, this air conditioner is energy efficient.

The air conditioner is fairly easy to install, but you will need a professional to do it for you. Suffice to say, the professional shouldn’t charge you a big fee because it doesn’t take a lot of skill or work in order to install it.

This device cleverly uses a mixture of air conditioning and dehumidifying to make a room cooler or warmer. Thanks to its manipulation of air moisture, it’s fair to say that it “feels” warmer or colder sooner. For example, it feels cooler when the device removes the heat and the humidity from the air, even if the temperature hasn’t dropped a great deal.

Cons

Customer service for Senville is already pretty bad, but it seems to be worse when dealing with this product. The company doesn’t manufacture replacement parts, so if you ask for them, they promise to call back but never do. Try calling the sales department and having them transfer you to customer support.

This device doesn’t seem to handle heat very well. Through a mixture of installation methods and product design, you may find that your device stops working on very hot days. It may have something to do with how the thermostats are located within the machine and/or how the device is installed.

A common complaint is that the circuit boards break down. This is partly due to the internal devices being exposed to high temperatures. If it gets too hot, the cheap soldering on the motherboard starts to warp and create problems.

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Senville 9000 BTU SENA-09HF/Z Energy Star Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump, Whit

 

DAIKIN 17 SEER 9,000 BTU Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split A/C Heat Pump

The Daikin company makes its first and only appearance on this list, but not without merit as they make very good air conditioning units. Founded in Japan in 1924, the company has expanded across Asia and now sells exceedingly good air conditioning units in the USA.

Pros

This air conditioner is probably one of the best on this entire list because it perfectly balances power with energy efficiency. Overall, it’s a very energy-efficient device, but is also able to quickly heat or cool rooms.

The air conditioner comes with a 10-year warranty for parts, but you’ll have to register for the warranty. It has a 7 SEER/9 HSPF energy efficiency rating, and will easily warm or heat a room of 350 square feet very quickly.

It comes with a turbo mode, which is amazing at heating and cooling your room very quickly. Turbo mode takes a little more power, and makes a little more noise, but within ten minutes you’ll notice a massive difference in the air temperature.

Cons

This device is probably one of the best on this list, but you’ll need a good and professional installer to put it in for you. If correctly installed, this device offers great energy efficiency and power.

It’s a bulky and large device. And while not distractingly loud, you can hear it from the other side of your house. The noise isn’t enough to cause complaints, but is louder than a swimming pool motor or pond motor.

There are really no other downsides to this machine – it’s amazing. The only problem you are likely to encounter is trying to figure out if a seller will post to your location. The device travels well, so you’re unlikely to find it broken when it arrives.

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DAIKIN 17 SEER 9,000 BTU Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split A/C Heat Pump System Maxwell 15-ft Installation Kit (230V) 10 Year Limited Warranty (9,000 BTU_208-230V)

 

Best Mini-Split Air Conditioner Buying Guide

One of the biggest factors appears to be the price of your unit. If you opt for a lower-priced unit, then it may be less efficient and/or it may not last as long. Middle-priced units, like the ones listed in this article, are probably the best value because the more expensive units tend to be better suited for larger rooms. If you look for a mid-priced unit, then you should be able to find something that heats/cools efficiently without taking too long.

One of the more annoying downsides is when the manufacturer has terrible customer service. For example, the Senville devices listed in this article are brilliant machines. They’re well-priced, efficient, and reliable. However, if you come across a problem, then the customer support team is just terrible. In most cases, you’re probably better off getting in contact with the seller to see what they can do.

How loud is the device? There are often two noise sources. There is the external unit, which is usually the loudest, and the internal unit. These days, the level of noise coming from each device is minimal. Yet, some cheaper models may create a distracting level of sound that should factor into your buying decision.

Finally, if you want to find the best mini-split air conditioner, then choose a size appropriate to the room it will be placed in. A bigger and more expensive model doesn’t mean it’s the best for your room. Some people buy a larger device because they intend to put it in their hallway with the hopes it will heat/cool all connected rooms. Whilst this isn’t a terrible idea, you’ll often find that a smaller device will suffice.

Unless it’s very cold or very warm outside, you’re not going to have a big problem maintaining a reasonable air temperature. That said, if you’re thinking of using a single air conditioning unit to heat your whole upstairs or downstairs, then think again because keeping things warm is often more difficult than keeping things moderate to cool.

This article covered the best mini-split air conditioner units within a mid-level price range. If you’re looking at more expensive devices, then beware that more expensive versions tend to be bigger and are probably best suited for larger rooms and homes.

 

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